Summer camps are back this year and, with all the new restrictions, can be quite expensive (our summer camp guide includes some discount codes!). We have found a few gems available at more affordable prices that you should know about. The following East Bay summer camps are offered for less than $250 per week for approximately full-time coverage. If you qualify, see also free/super cheap programs for low-income families. Other tips to save money on camps are below.
Affordable East Bay summer camps
Camp Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project (Oakland)
Farming & Cooking and Dance, Wellness Art & Storytelling. One day per week is swimming. Kids earn money from the harvest.
Fees: $225 with discounts for multiple weeks
Berkeley Day Camp (Berkeley)
Children explore local parks including Tilden Park, Berkeley Marina, and one area beach. Pricing is based on a 3-week session.
Fees: $240 per week (Berkeley resident) | $288 per week (non-resident)
BMuZ Music Camps (Berkeley)
Band, Jazz, Strings, Fiddle, Guitar, and Choir Camps are offered through Berkeley educators from June 7-11 only.
Fees: $220 per week for a half-day of camp, $350 for a full day of Dance Camp
Learn more >
Recreation and Team Sports (Berkeley)
RATS is a play-all-day summer day camp where kids of all ability levels are encouraged to participate. Offered in four 2-week sessions, 8 am to 5:30.
Fees: $225 per week
The “Rec” Summer Camp (Emeryville)
Traditional summer camp experience with weekly themes. Fees based on 2-week sessions, 7:30 am to 5:30.
Fees: $150 per week (Emeryville resident) | $155 per week (non-resident)
Town Camp (Oakland)
Traditional summer day camp program in and around Oakland neighborhoods. Discover the treasures around town. Fees based on 4-week sessions.
Fees: $180 sliding scale (Oakland resident) | $216 (non-resident)
Learn about Town Camp >
World of Wonder (Alameda)
Traditional summer day camp program with field trips.
7 Tips to save money on summer camps
Not all of these tips will work for every family or every camp but you might surprise yourself and lop off $100+ with some scheduling flexibility or creativity. Don’t be afraid to ask.
- Find a deal. Our summer camp guide includes dozens of discount codes.
- Scholarships. Ask the summer camps staff for a scholarship or need-based rate.
- Sign up a sib. There are often multiple kid rate discounts for families or friends.
- Bundle. Sign up for more than one week. There are often multi-week discounts available.
- Reduce. If you have the flexibility to shorten your hours or days of care, you can save a chunk of change.
- Think Rec. Local parks and recreation departments offer great deals for residents, especially if you don’t need full-time care.
- Barter. Get creative. Can you make a trade? Do you have a skill that would benefit the camp? Can you prepare snack or run errands to help the staff in order to defray costs?
Did we miss your favorite lower-cost camp option? Help a family out and share it in the comments!